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Here's when to watch for the next Southern California SpaceX rocket launch

SpaceX will try again to launch a Falcon 9 rocket Monday night in what might be a sight to see in the sky over Southern California.

Originally scheduled for Thursday at Vandenberg Space Force Base west of Santa Barbara, the Falcon 9 rocket launch was postponed after a weekend storm. The rocket carrying 22 Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit is set to liftoff Monday at 7:30 p.m., about 15 minutes after sunset.

The storm that arrived Saturday has moved out. If skies are clear enough and the rocket lifts off at the right time from the base about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the Falcon 9 and its exhaust plume are often illuminated by the setting sun against the backdrop of a darkening sky, such as during the Feb. 8 SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.

Launches just after sunset and before sunrise usually provide the best views as the rocket reflects the sun’s rays with a dark sky in the background.

The launch window will remain open until 11:30 p.m. Sky-watchers as far away as Sonoma, Reno, southern Colorado and in parts of Utah, New Mexico, and western Mexico might see the rocket and its exhaust plume if it left off early in the launch window.

The rocket may also produce a sonic boom a few minutes after liftoff that might be heard along the parts of the coast as it soars south. The first-stage booster is set to land on a droneship at sea.

SpaceX has a Starlink constellation of satellites orbiting Earth about 340 miles up, shuttled into space by the company’s rocketsThe Starlink network is designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere around the globe.

If light conditions are right, the satellites appear in a train as they parade across the night sky. The satellites are sometimes visible in the first few minutes after sundown and before sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, but the satellites are high enough to reflect direct sunlight.

Use the FindStarlink tracker to find the best upcoming viewing times.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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